How to Turn a Horse Western Style: A Beginner's Guide

How to Turn a Horse Western Style: A Beginner’s Guide

Hey there! It’s your buddy Jack here. I’ve always been a big fan of western riding, and today I’m gonna share with you some tips on how to turn your horse western style.

Intro: My Personal Story

So, I remember the first time I tried turning my horse western style. It was a disaster. I had been riding English for years, so I figured I could just apply the same techniques to my western ride. Boy, was I wrong.

My horse and I ended up going in circles for what felt like forever, and I couldn’t get him to go where I wanted. It was a humbling experience, to say the least.

But don’t worry, I’ve learned a lot since then and now I can turn my horse western style with ease. And I’m gonna share all my hard-learned lessons with you.

Step 1: Get the Right Equipment

Before you start turning your horse western style, it’s important to have the right equipment. You’ll want a western saddle and reins, of course, but you’ll also want a western bit.

This is a type of bit that is specifically designed for western riding, and it will give you more control over your horse’s head and mouth.

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Step 2: Practice the Two-Handed Reins

One of the key differences between western and English riding is the way you hold the reins. In English riding, you typically use one hand to hold the reins, while in western riding, you use two hands.

This is because western riding often involves more neck reining, which is a method of steering your horse by applying pressure to the reins with your hands.

To practice the two-handed reins, start by holding the reins in both hands, with your thumbs on top and your fingers on the bottom.

Keep your elbows bent and close to your body, and use small, subtle movements of your hands to signal to your horse which way you want him to go.

Step 3: Practice Neck Reining

Now that you’ve got the two-handed reins down, it’s time to start practicing neck reining. To do this, you’ll use the reins to signal to your horse which way you want him to turn.

If you want him to turn left, for example, you’ll gently pull on the left rein while applying pressure to the right rein.

It’s important to be gentle and subtle with your movements, as too much pressure on the reins can be confusing or uncomfortable for your horse.

And always remember to use your body language to communicate with your horse as well.

Step 4: Practice Turning in Circles

Once you’ve got the basics of neck reining down, it’s time to start practicing turning in circles. This will help you get a feel for how your horse moves and responds to your commands.

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To turn your horse in a circle, start by neck reining him in the direction you want to go. Then, use your body language and voice to encourage him to keep moving in that direction.

As you turn, remember to keep your seat balanced and your hands steady on the reins.

Step 5: Practice on the Trail

Now that you’ve got the hang of turning your horse in circles, it’s time to take your skills out on the trail. This will give you a chance to practice turning in different environments and at different speeds.

When you’re out on the trail, remember to stay relaxed and focused. Use your body language and voice to communicate with your horse, and pay attention to his cues as well. If he seems unsure or hesitant, take a break and give him a chance to rest.

Step 6: Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

Learning how to turn a horse western style takes time and practice, and it’s okay to make mistakes along the way.

Just remember to stay patient and focused, and keep working at it. And if you ever get stuck or frustrated, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a more experienced rider or instructor.


What is western riding?

Western riding is a style of horseback riding that originated in the American West. It is characterized by the use of western saddles, reins, and bits, as well as the two-handed reins and neck reining techniques.

Western riding is often associated with cowboy culture and is popular in rodeos and other horse shows.

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Is western riding hard to learn?

Like any new skill, western riding takes time and practice to learn. However, with the right equipment and instruction, it can be a fun and rewarding activity for riders of all levels.

Do I need a western saddle to ride western style?

Yes, a western saddle is essential for western riding.

It is designed specifically for this style of riding, with a deep seat, high horn, and long stirrups to help you maintain your balance and control.

The End: Time to Giddy Up!

Well, that’s about all I’ve got for you on how to turn a horse western style. Just remember to start slow and practice, practice, practice.

And before you know it, you’ll be turning your horse like a pro. Now it’s time to get out there and giddy up!


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